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Legacy, OHSU to merge into 10-hospital system

Portland-based Legacy Health and Oregon Health & Science University have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to combine and create a 10-hospital system with more than 32,000 employees and over 100 locations. 

The letter of intent, the first step in a transaction process by which Legacy will become part of OHSU, was unanimously approved by the boards of both OHSU and Legacy. 

With more than 3 million patient visits a year, the combined entity will be the largest employer in the Portland metro area, according to an Aug. 16 news release. Leaders from both organizations will develop the strategy of the combined system, which will focus on amplifying leadership in patient- and community-focused healthcare, education, research and innovation.

As part of the agreement, OHSU will invest about $1 billion over 10 years to support primary- and community-based services that will be part of the combined system. The investment will help expand services, including clinical programs, sites of care and new care models, while maintaining and growing services, such as preventive medicine, population and public health.

To address community healthcare needs and disparities, Legacy will direct its net cash on hand and investments — above outstanding debt — at closing to a new independent foundation, which will promote physical and mental well-being and address healthcare inequity, including social determinants of health and behavioral health.

The organizations hope to reach a definitive agreement in the coming months. The transaction is expected to close in 2024, pending regulatory approval.

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